This was my first time making falafel. I had to try it twice before I got the seasonings right. However, the process itself is so easy, I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before (because I love falafel!) Basically, you place a bunch of clean ingredients into a food processor and pulse until its a “paste” that you can mold with your hands. Then, you pop them in the oven – et voila, falafel patties! Simple, right? While the baked falafel steals the show here, the cucumber noodles work their own separate magic – like a crunchy, refreshing salad. The mint-tahini dressing coats the cucumber noodles and makes every bite flavorful and tangy. Plus – baked falafel has significantly less fat than fried falafel. Instead of frying these chickpea patties, we place them in a cast iron skillet coated with olive oil, which adds flavor, healthy fats and a pretty brown color as it bakes.
Baked Falafel and Cucumber Noodle Salad With Mint-Tahini Dressing [Vegan]
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for coating a cast iron skillet
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cucumber, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- 3 packed cups baby arugula
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the falafel except for the additional oil for coating the cast iron skillet (later step). Process until no longer chunky, about 1 minute. Place into a mixing bowl and add in the egg. Toss to combine thoroughly.
- Scoop out enough of the mixture to make 6 large golf ball sized falafel balls and then shape them into patties by setting them down and pressing down to slightly flatten. Set aside.
- Place the falafel in a cast iron skillet coated lightly with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon.)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes and then flip over and bake another 15 minutes or until the falafel is lightly browned on both sides.
- While the falafel is baking, prepare the dressing and cucumber salad. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together. Set aside. For the salad, pat dry the cucumber noodles to remove all excess moisture and then combine in a large mixing bowl with the arugula. Toss to combine and divide onto two plates. Set aside.
- When the falafel is done baking, divide equally among the salad plates and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.